Ethos

A Decade of Rapport

A Decade of Rapport 6912 3456 Sam Smith

Rapport’s launch in 2012

A Decade of Rapport

From a small company with a 150-strong workforce, to runner up in the UK’s Best Large Companies To Work For list, Rapport has come a very long way since joining the Compass family 10 years ago.

Rapport’s inception started several years earlier when Greg Mace, its founder, had an idea to create a guest services company that would attract some of the biggest and most renowned clients in the world, expand internationally, win awards for great service, and be recognised as a great place to work. It’s safe to say this vision has been well and truly realised!

Our Culture

Rapport is many things to many people, but nobody would disagree that our positive and inclusive culture is what makes us special. The diversity of our employees is one of our greatest strengths, and we are committed to ensuring that every person has equal opportunity and is treated with dignity and respect. We welcome everyone, whoever they are and however they choose to identify.

We are proud to foster a supportive environment for our ambassadors, where wellbeing and mental health is discussed openly and at the forefront of everything we do – we have developed an ever-evolving, extensive wellbeing programme.

Bachata social event in Hyde Park

Rewarding Development and Career Pathways

From humble beginnings in 2012, training programmes were almost exclusively on classroom learning for reception and call service teams. The Learning & Development and award-winning people team have recently launched a virtual training studio, stepping into the future, and leading the way addressing personalised learning needs. Creating client consultancy projects that address ‘one team spirit’ and performance requirements across multiple service partnerships, whilst also supporting the growth of the Rapport brand globally. Alongside core service skills, health and wellbeing, inclusion, personal and professional growth, the team are always looking forward at hybrid learning opportunities to support the ever-changing environment.

We’re all about career progression, and just last year, we promoted 69 people and facilitated 31 internal moves – filling 25% of vacancies internally. In addition, we’ve also hired back 30 ex-Rapport ambassadors, and our ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme has bought in 31 hires. Best of all, is proof that our Leadership Development Programme is a success with 65% of graduates either being promoted or transferred to a more challenging role within the business.

Some of our Rapport development programme graduates

Award-winning

Our status as a multi-award-winning company is testament to the dedication and hard work of all our teams and ambassadors. From winning Front of House Team of the Year at the Foodservice Cateys in 2013, we’ve gone on to win a host of awards for Remarkable Services, Learning & Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Wellbeing, and Management. We’ve been recognised in the Caterer’s Best Places to Work in Hospitality six times, won five Cateys and experienced an incredible journey with the UK’s Best Companies – starting with a one-star accreditation in 2014, which increased to two stars by 2017. In 2020 we earned a place on the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list and last year we achieved the much coveted three-star status and number two spot on the UK’s Best Large Companies to Work for 2021.

Rapport Guest Services wins ‘Front of House Team of the Year’ at the Catey Awards

Challenging times

The pandemic presented us with new challenges which we took on with aplomb, we adapted our services to the rapidly changing world Many of our ambassadors continued to travel into our client sites every day to go above and beyond their usual duties to assist during these challenging times. We moved our learning and development programmes from in-person to virtual in unprecedented time, adding courses focussed on financial, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Determined to keep that Rapport spirit, we doubled down to keep ambassadors engaged with countless initiatives and activities, including charity efforts, recognition, weekly company-wide zoom meetings, competitions, and so much more. The “Rapport Assist” website was also created for ambassadors who had left the company, by offering training and support that would help them in the future, such as CV writing. We advertised all our vacancies on this website first to give our ambassadors first choice.

Engagement and Recognition

Engagement and recognition are highly valued at Rapport and our annual Rapport Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding achievements across categories which reflect core brand values. These included: Create Rapport, Be Brilliant, Innovative Spirit, Walk Tall and Stronger Together. Leadership, Client Feedback and Best Newcomers are also recognised.

May 2015 saw the launch of the Rapport WOW! Awards to accommodate the growing number of ambassadors, and the need for a monthly rewards programme to capture the remarkable acts and celebrate them in a timely fashion.  Such was the number of wonderful stories it led to the conception of a Rapport Inspire book (which sits in the British library).

With an ambition to improve the whole sector, Rapport introduced National Receptionists’ Day in the UK in 2012, now known as International Receptionists’ Day after joining forces with its US counterpart. In 2014, National Telephonists’ Day was launched by Rapport and ComXo, and has since been celebrated by businesses in a wide variety of sectors. New industry award, Corporate Receptionist of the Year (CROTY) was born in 2019 to specifically recognise receptionists working in the corporate sector.

The Rapport Excellence Awards and the WOW! awards.

Rapport is proud to announce that we have five of our exceptional team out of the ten shortlisted for Corporate Receptionist of the Year 2019

Corporate Receptionist of the Year and National Receptionists’ Day

Going International

International expansion was the next logical step and in 2015, Rapport made its way over to the US starting in New York and growing across other key cities – Rapport in North America is now 400+ ambassadors. In 2016 Rapport UK became UK and Ireland, when a client utilised our services across the water. Asia Pacific was next with Hong Kong added in 2019, our reach in Europe extended to Switzerland and subsequently Denmark. With the addition of Australia and India, Rapport is very much a global organisation.

Rapport head office first trip to North America

Thank You

All the awards, contracts and international trips are incredible achievements, but when you strip Rapport back to its very essence, it is clear what the spirit of Rapport really is.

Our people.

We are so grateful to all our ambassadors who bring with them their own their culture, their individuality, and their aspirations. The diversity of our ambassadors is our greatest strength.

Rapport Signs the Mindful Business Charter

Rapport Signs the Mindful Business Charter 1200 627 Sam Smith

In Mental Health Awareness week, Rapport Publicly committed to the Mindful Business Charter.

Mental Health Awareness Week is a very fitting time for Rapport to officially sign the Mindful Business Charter. Creating a safe and mindful work environment has always been a priority for us, but as of 13th May 2021, Rapport is now publicly committed to fostering a thoughtful, open and respectful working environment for all.

Rapport joins a wide range of businesses and professional service firms around the world in a collective commitment to address the avoidable stresses in our working practices, to promote healthier and more effective ways of working. This is part of our ongoing commitment to the wellbeing and mental health of all our Ambassadors.

For more information about the Mindful Business Charter, visit www.mindfulbusinesscharter.com/ 

 

 

 

“Very pleased to be signed up to the Mindful Business Charter which is a fantastic organisation and supports our focus on positive mental health and wellbeing in Rapport Guest Services. I encourage finding out more about how they can support your businesses.”

Greg Mace, Founder and Managing Director

Rapport is one the Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality 2021!

Rapport is one the Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality 2021! 1747 1240 Sam Smith

Rapport is one of Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality 2021!

We were delighted to learn on Tuesday 18th May, that Rapport has been recognised as one of the ‘Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality’, the sixth time we have been recognised in this prestigious annual list.

 

The list was unveiled by The Caterer and PurpleCubed at the People Summit, held virtually this year.

The Top 30 list was created seven years ago by The Caterer and Purple Cubed to showcase best practise in hospitality companies. The list is formed by the companies own employees, who answer carefully crafted questions that will best reflect their working environment over the last twelve months. This year, there was also a focus on the pandemic and how well companies responded to the challenges and restrictions.

The average overall score for all companies who took part in Best Place to Work in Hospitality, was 93%. The standard was particularly high this year, so making it into the Top 30 was especially difficult with such strong competition.

Jane Sunley from Purple Cubed presenting the results from the survey

Jane Sunley, – Purple Cubed’s founder and chief executive.

“This year’s Best Places to Work in Hospitality survey had a new, simpler, post-pandemic format and we were surprised and delighted to see record entries. The competition was tough, and standards extremely high, with an overall average score of 93%.”

Lisa Jenkins from The Caterer presenting Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality.

Greg Mace – Rapport Founder and Managing Director

“Being recognised after a challenging year is a tribute to the hard work that our teams put into making Rapport such an inclusive company where employee engagement is a top priority. We’d like to send a huge thank you to all our Rapport Ambassadors for their part in making our company so special.”

Rapport Ambassadors Jump In To Assist Those Displaced By Pandemic – Rapport USA

Rapport Ambassadors Jump In To Assist Those Displaced By Pandemic – Rapport USA 1844 976 Sam Smith

At the beginning of the pandemic, our Rapport workplace Ambassadors were re-assigned to a special project. This project was designed to provide support to the State Unemployment Call Center.

At the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment claims in the USA were setting new records as the days progressed.  As the United States’ unemployment numbers surged over the months, our Ambassadors did not only have to experience the hardships that the pandemic had brought into their personal lives, but they also needed to uplift and help those who had lost their jobs.

To lead and be successful in this project, a team of individuals was put together who all held very high customer service skills and had the ability to handle long and difficult conversations. We had Rapport Ambassadors from all our locations across the country take up this new role with confidence and optimism. Three months later, all the Ambassadors were excelling in this new challenge and a few were also promoted within the project.

We are so proud of our Rapport Ambassadors for continuing to uphold the Rapport’s values. The team has experienced personal growth while being part of this project and we are thrilled to see how much they will continue to shine during these uncertain times!

This project is still ongoing and while a few Ambassadors have returned to support the office openings, a majority of the team is still supporting the State Unemployment call centers.

‘Rapport Assist’ launched – Support beyond Rapport

‘Rapport Assist’ launched – Support beyond Rapport 526 257 Sam Smith

After eight years of never having to make a compulsory redundancy, we have now seen first-hand the devastating impact that COVID is having. At Rapport, as our clients are carrying out reviews and restructuring of their operations, we have unfortunately been placed in the very unhappy position where we have had to say goodbye to some dedicated, brilliant and hardworking team members. We are very saddened by this, but this did not deter us from dedicating our resources to continue to support these Ambassadors.

“…we felt strongly about putting in place a resource where we could offer whatever help possible to support all of our ambassadors.”

– Founder and Managing Director, Greg Mace

 

We therefore created ‘Rapport Assist’ which was launched in July, which is an entire website full of resources, training and support dedicated to our Ambassadors who have sadly been made redundant. The website guides Ambassadors through external support that will help them get back into work and navigate the financial support open to them. Our team also offers a range of training courses free of charge for these individuals to support their job search, including how to improve their CV and LinkedIn profile, how to prepare for an interview, and many wellbeing and personal growth sessions.

Cariad Kenan – Training and Development Programme

Lilian Bormans –  1-1 CV writing clinics

There is also access to many charities, external support organisations and our employee assistance support line which we have extended for three months after leaving Rapport, free of charge.

Finally, we have not been advertising any vacancies externally. Anyone who has left Rapport gets priority access to these new roles and we’re excited that with this approach we have been able to retain some of our dedicated Ambassadors.

“We remain hopeful that in the months to come our clients’ businesses may start to return to something resembling what they were and that we may be in a position to hire back many former Rapport Ambassadors. We hope this website will be a way to keep in touch with you all during this period.”

– Greg Mace

Our second book, ‘Inspire’ is published, celebrating stories of remarkable service

Our second book, ‘Inspire’ is published, celebrating stories of remarkable service 614 921 Sam Smith

Every day, our brilliant team deliver inspirational examples of service that go above and beyond what would normally be expected, to literally make you go wow!

Since the success of our first ‘Inspire’ book, we have put together this second edition that illustrates more of our favourite stories over the last 12 months.

So why have we published these books? To showcase what we do every day for our clients and their guests and to encourage other Rapport Ambassadors to create their own unique stories of exceptional service. This book is not only a means by which to give recognition to the achievements of our Ambassadors, but to also inspire others to feature in the chapters of the next book.

This edition is filled with motivating stories, including a foreword by Dominic Blakemore, Group Chief Executive of Rapport’s parent company, Compass Group as well as Ian Pigeon, Head of Client Services at Addleshaw Goddard LLP who previously worked for Ritz Carlton Hotels.

Never underestimate the power of brilliant customer service.

 

Our amazing collection of inspirational stories from our Rapport Ambassadors in Volume One was so well received in 2019 that we couldn’t wait to share some more with you.  Congratulations to all of our team that were featured in volume 2”.

Greg Mace, Founder and Managing Director Greg Mace

Rapport was proud to take part in the Annual Pride March in London this year

Rapport was proud to take part in the Annual Pride March in London this year 1400 814 admin

We were really excited to secure a space to be part of the annual Pride March in London this year with a group of over 25 of our Rapport Ambassadors enthusiastically marching alongside many other supportive companies.

At Rapport, we’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can be themselves, including our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) ambassadors.

Supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do. An inclusive workplace enables us to embrace the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of all our people to create better teams and outcomes for our diverse range of clients.

This year’s Pride in London parade was the biggest and most diverse yet, with over 30,000 people from all parts of the LGBTQ+ community marching through the capital to celebrate, protest and stand up for equality.

600 groups – a 25 per cent increase on last year – walked the route from Portland Place down to Whitehall, via Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The theme for this year’s Parade was the Pride Jubilee, marking 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising: the moment which sparked the modern Pride movement. Parade groups honoured 50 years of activism, protests and victories that have made Pride what it is today.

Holding our specially designed Rapport banner and T-shirts with a new Rapport logo specially commissioned to support Pride, our team had a brilliant day. Cedric Tomas, one of the Rapport organising committee commented “I could not be prouder to see our Rapport ambassadors taking part in such an amazing event and seeing everyone inspired to be themselves, standing up for their rights, as well as having great fun”

Head of HR for Rapport, Natasha Whitehurst added “We’re working hard to increase the engagement and participation of our LGBTQ+ people, by building and enhancing a culture where everyone feels included”

We look forward to even more of our Rapport Ambassadors joining us for the 2020 march next year!

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Rapport book of book of inspirational stories

One man’s life saved with quick thinking and a defibrillator

One man’s life saved with quick thinking and a defibrillator 1500 1000 admin

Our ethos in Rapport is all about providing a service that is personal and intuitive, anticipating our guests’ needs. We truly believe that every guest experience should be unique and to do this, we empower all of our Rapport Ambassadors to do whatever it takes to delight our guests.

Welcome to volume one of our book of inspirational stories, Inspire.

Every day, our brilliant team bring this to life with some inspirational examples of service that go above and beyond what would normally be expected, to literally make you go wow!

This first volume of stories brings together some of our favourite examples over the last 18 months where our Rapport Ambassadors have created some of these incredible wow! moments.

Why have we published this book? To showcase what we do every day for clients and guests and to encourage other Rapport Ambassadors to create their own unique stories of exceptional service.

The book is a great read, with forewords by Dominic Blakemore, the Group Chief Executive of Compass Group PLC and Michel Roux Jr.

With a cover price of £9.95 and where copies are sold, profit from the sale of the books goes to the charity, Action On Hearing Loss.

Learn more:

Rapport book of book of inspirational stories
The Rapport Excellence Awards celebrating our brilliant Rapport Ambassadors

The Rapport Excellence Awards celebrating our brilliant Rapport Ambassadors

The Rapport Excellence Awards celebrating our brilliant Rapport Ambassadors 1600 871 admin

Wow! What a fantastic evening it was. Bigger, better and buzzier than ever before. It all kicked off with a high impact, sixty second film embodying ‘The Spirit of Rapport’. This set the high-octane pace for the next two hours and we were transported into another world, full of positivity and enthusiasm.

Between each of the nine awards, we were shown highlights from the last year celebrating lots of the new client wins and continued growth from Ireland, the US and Hong Kong. This is such a great way to celebrate our 7th birthday in style and to treat us to some exciting new announcements for 2019.

It was striking how all the different elements and initiatives from the last twelve months all came together. This superb event celebrates and rewards Rapport Ambassadors and reinforces the five core values that make our company so special. A new award was also introduced this year – the ‘Heart Award’ which goes to someone who always puts others first and is voted on by everyone in Rapport. The winning Rapport Ambassaddor was loudly cheered to the rafters when his name was read out.

Hosted by Greg Mace, Managing Director of Rapport

550 Rapport Ambassadors and clients filled the QE2 Conference Centre in London with countless people viewing the live streaming via Facebook including simultaneous parties in Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and Dublin. Guest presenters included Dominic Blakemore, Group Chief Executive of Compass Group PLC who made a very personal speech about the way that Rapport Ambassadors make him feel before he handed out awards for Leadership to two of our shining stars. We also welcomed Compass Group UK and Ireland Managing Director, Chris Garside who entertained the audience with his observations about the power of a great welcome.

All expenses paid trips to New York for two nominees

Being a winner is fantastic on a night like this, however just being one of the shortlisted nominees is a real achievement too, given the high standard of entries. We were delighted when Harry Dorofee, Director of Operations at Rapport in the US, surprised the audience by drawing two shortlisted nominees’ names at random for an all-expenses paid trip to New York for a holiday and also to experience a number of Rapport locations in the Big Apple.

As our teams partied into the night, everyone agreed it had been the best event yet!!

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An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates

An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates

An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates 1379 834 admin

More than 130 people and clients from all over the UK and Ireland gathered in Canary Wharf to celebrate the achievements of 45 Rapport Academy graduates for 2018.

We watched as each received a certificate of achievement and a celebratory bottle of Rapport champagne. This was followed by delicious food and drinks served by our sister company, Restaurant Associates.

Our training and development courses take anywhere from four months to 4 years to complete and demand real commitment. The Apprenticeships programme is a blend of e-learning and workshops, leading to a national qualification, whilst the Supervisor Passport programme has been the perfect stepping stone to a new role or a promotion for 31 people this year.

52% of everyone completing the ‘Lead the Way’ programme have been promoted since graduating.

Natalie Rafferty, our Training Manager outlined how to become an inspirational and highly effective leader by embarking on the Lead the Way programme. She emphasised how many people have since been promoted and now lead their own teams. With eleven modules to complete over four months, she stressed the amount of effort it takes. Recognition at events like this is just a small part of the reward and a more fulfilling career.

Gary Acheson, Head of HR and Learning for Rapport explained how we are developing our Inspiring Leadership programme, that includes a number of courses for people at different points in their careers. This is because we need a talent pipeline to keep up with our growth. He is also on his own personal learning journey to gain a Chartered Institute of Personnel Diploma.

Clients see how personal development and leadership skills are developed here at Rapport to create exceptional teams.

An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates
An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates
An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates

This event gives our clients a behind-the-scenes peek at how we encourage and support everyone to learn more so that they develop their individual skills, experience and careers. It is one of the ways we create such exceptional teams. Our courses are designed by us, to challenge and stretch people in unexpected ways, whilst building their confidence at the same time.

One of our most supportive clients, Ian Pigeon, Head of Client Services at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, told us that Rapport soft skills training is second to none. It really makes a difference to his clients, especially in difficult situations. As he knows that all Rapport Ambassadors are sensitive, diplomatic and acutely aware of how they communicate affects how people feel.

He said, “I enjoy supporting everyone in my team who has completed a development course. In my view, Rapport is exceptional when it comes to showing how much you appreciate your people”.

We finished by chatting to Greg Mace, our Managing Director who told us just how rewarding it is for him as well as for all those being recognised. He said, “I can literally see careers developing right in front of my eyes on nights like this and I am delighted for everyone”.

An evening of celebration with our Rapport Academy graduates